Country musician Charlie Daniels, who is best known for the Charlie Daniels Band 1979 hit single “The Devil Went Down To Georgia,” has passed away at the age of 83 from a hemorrhagic stroke, according to a statement by his publicist Don Murry Grubbs. The single originally hit number 3 on the Billboard Hot 100 upon its release, coming in after the songs “After The Love Has Gone” by Earth, Wind and Fire and “My Sharona” by The Knack.
“The Devil Went Down To Georgia” was originally recorded for Daniels’ Million Mile Reflection, although it achieved broader popularity when it was included on the 1980 film Urban Cowboy, starring John Travolta. This song is based on a melody originally written by Vassar Clements as “Lonesome Fiddle Blues,” with Daniels’ band eventually moving up the song by an octave higher, while adding the track’s legendary conceptual lyrics.
While Daniels is best known for his role in creating the country music hit, he also had a career as a songwriter and session musician. As a session player he performed on Bob Dylan’s Nashville Skyline and Leonard Cohen’s Songs From a Room, while co-writing the track “It Hurts Me,” which was recorded by Elvis Presley back in 1964.
The performer made a run of controversial statements during his latter years, criticizing refugees by stating “for Hillary to tell me why we should import our own intifada by bringing in thousands of refugees. Check our what’s going on in France,” and telling former NFL Player Colin Kaepernick to “spend a week riding in an inner city patrol car so he could see what the guys he insults every week are up against.”
like for Hillary to tell me why we should import our own intifada by bringing in thousands of refugees
Check our what’s going on in France
— Charlie Daniels (@CharlieDaniels) October 16, 2016
Colin Kaepernick needs to spend a week riding in an inner city patrol car so he could see what the guys he insults every week are up against
— Charlie Daniels (@CharlieDaniels) October 2, 2016
He also defended US President Donald Trump upon hearing about his impeachment, stating that it attempted to “delegitimize” the votes of Trump supporters. He also caught criticism for telling college students to “pick cotton” back in 2016.